The integrity of our business slips away more and more every day. I see it. I hear it.
This week let's talk sales: NTR (non-traditional revenue). More specifically, let's talk about "studio naming rights." You know, where the sales department sells the actual "name" of a radio station's studio to a client. And suddenly, you're now broadcasting from "The Captain Crunch Studio." Yeah, super-wack...for a few reasons:
It confuses listeners. I've heard from listeners many times, that they actually think the DJs are doing all their shows from a McDonald's now. They just don't understand. And I don't blame them.
What about talk radio? I've heard top-of-the-hour IDs saying "Live from The Popeye's Chicken News Studio," only to hear the national Fox News feed seconds later. Really? So the national news guys are also broadcasting from said chicken establishment? Now that's just silly. And once again confusing.
It gets even weirder when a station who names their studio, runs a syndicated show who also names their studio. You get a local top-of-hour ID that may say "Broadcasting live from the Throckmorton Auto Insurance Studio," only to hear minutes later the syndicated programming saying the show is actually broadcasting live from The Harvey Schmidlap Car Audio Studio. Huh???
And they name everything now. The studio, the van, the traffic center. Ugh. They should name the promiscuous intern if they really want to get their brand "out there!"
I'll leave you with this. Look, I get it. Radio sales (and the economy in general) is in a world of hurt, and at the end of the day do I "get" selling studio-naming sponsorhips? Sure I do. If it helps keep the lights on, whatever. But sales and programming peeps, at least do this:
-Pick a name that fits your format...and that doesn't sound silly. I once did afternoons where my traffic guy announced he was giving his report from "The Bimbo Bread Traffic Desk." I nearly pooped my pants when I heard that.
-And limit the brand to five syllables or less, please. Swear to God, there is a major market station that not only sells the name to their freeway system's "traffic camera," but the name is ridiculously long. You'll here a break that says, "Okay, let's check the 101 Freeway and take a look at The Rio Vista Hermosa Casino, Resort and Spa Traffic Cam." Not kidding. Make it stop, please!
*the actual brand names in the above article have been changed to protect the guilty. Except for "The Bimbo Bread Traffic Desk." That was the real name, and too ridiculous to change.